|Pham Khac Canh, developer of the math solving application Math Solver for smartphones.
Uploaded to the Play Store and Apple Store distribution platforms about four months ago, Math Solver has been downloaded nearly 100,000 times by students in Vietnam, India, Russia, the US, Europe and several Southeast Asian countries.
Its creator, Pham Khac Canh, specialised in math when he studied at Tran Dai Nghia Gifted High School in the southern province of Binh Thuan. He chose to major in information technology at the HCM City Polytechnic University, and went on to earn a Master’s degree in the field at the HCM City University of Natural Sciences.
Canh started developing his own math solving application in 2015. From the first two languages of Vietnamese and English, Russian, Thai, Korean and Chinese options have been added to Math Solver. Two others – Japanese and Cambodian – are on the way.
Math Solver is capable of solving different types of math – from general to advanced levels – such as drawing graphs, solving equations and inequalities, calculating integral calculus, derivatives, limits, differential equations and extreme functions. Users select the type of problems they want to solve and input the questions and the application will provide them with detailed answers in seconds, depending on the questions’ levels of difficulty.
The application is said to be fast and accurate. La Thanh Tung, a math lecturer at the Sai Gon University, said the application provides “pretty accurate” answers to different math questions at university level.
Not only providing answers, the application also gives users detailed explanations of the problems in steps, which can be used as references for pupils, students and teachers, said Nguyen Tang Vu, a math teacher at the High School for the Gifted under the HCM City National University.
Pham Thanh Phong, head of the math department at the HCM City University of Economics and Finance, said it provided accurate answers to 95 percent of math questions at university level, 90 percent of questions in the branch of economic math, and 70 percent in engineering math.
“Engineering math problems tend to be more in-depth,” he said. “The application can’t solve rare and extremely complex questions.”
Some 10,000 questions in various types have been added to the application over the last two years with support from university math lecturers and high school math teachers, who provided Canh with banks of questions and consultancy in mathematical solutions and theorems.
An algorithm has been added to the application, which will record all questions it has solved and apply it to solve the next, more difficult ones faster.
“I am still improving the application’s features based on users’ comments,” Canh said.
“Different from foreign math applications, Math Solver is aimed at solving common math problems,” he added. “It focuses on general math forms, targeting pupils, students and providing detailed solutions to problems so they can take them as references for their studies.”
“I’m developing more features so that the application will be able to solve geometry problems and calculate matrixes.”
What makes Math Solver stand out is that it is free of charge and works without an internet connection, Canh said. Also, it is able to calculate limits of trigonometric functions – a function that most foreign math applications are unable to perform, he added.
Apart from dealing with math, the application also helps students learn chemistry, although it can only provide them with chemical formulas and knowledge testing questionnaires.
Canh’s wife, Nguyen Thi Y Nhi – a chemistry graduate from the HCM City Polytechnic University – is in charge of developing the chemistry feature. Since Canh started programming the application, Nhi contacted several chemistry teachers and students who excel in the subject to ask chemistry questions and advice on chemistry.